September 17, 2011

Narkel mung daal (Mung lentils with coconut)

Even though green mung bean is more popular in most places of India, in Bengal we use mostly yellow mung without the skin and split into half. Musur dal is more common for everyday lunch in Bengali household. And when it is some special occasion, mung dal is on the menu. Specially if the menu consists of the rich variety of vegetarian Bengali dishes. Vegetables in Bengal are cooked slowly, with only a few ingredients to bring out the subtle flavors of each ingredients in a delicious harmony. Mung dal is no exception. It is simply cooked with a bit of ginger and Indian cumin. A bit of ghee for the fatty taste. And sometimes coconut is added for a bit of crunch and variety of taste. Or one can just add a handful of peas, a few pieces of radish, or broken fish head. The later specially is a coveted delicacy. I am still trying to figure out where to buy head of fresh water carp like fishes. In the meantime, I am no less satisfied with my coconut mung dal.

 You can print the recipe for your kitchen here: PRINTABLE RECIPE

(Serves 6)

1 and 1/2cup mung lentils
1/2cup freshly grated coconut
1inch ginger grated
2tbsp of fresh coconut flakes
1/2sp whole cumin seeds
1/2sp cumin powder
2 bay leaves
Ghee (clarified butter)


1. Toast the mung dal on wok until it starts giving the aroma and only a few are turning burn. Do not over toast, or it will take too long to cook properly.
2. Put the toasted mung dal in a pot. Add grated ginger, cumin powder, and salt. Add 4-5 cups of water. Boil until the mung dal almost melts. Water must be added accordingly to get a nice viscous consistency.
3. Heat ghee in wok. Fry the coconut flakes until golden brown and set aside.
4. Add whole cumin seeds and bay leaves in the hot ghee. Let it crackle.
5. Add grated coconut. Stir for a couple of minutes but do not brown.
6. Add the boiled mung dal (along with the water). Add a pinch of sugar.
7. Bring it to boil. Garnish with fried coconut flakes.

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